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On Parables: Give It To Me Slant

One of my favorite things about Jesus are his parables. Those of us who have grown up in, or at least around the church, know them well. The Good Shepherd, the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, The Workers in the Vineyard, the Mustard Seed, the Wedding Banquet, the Sheep and the Goats and the Lost Coin are only a few of the forty some parables of Jesus.

This summer those of us at Camas Friends have decided to work through a number of the parables of Jesus. The goal isn’t to “figure them out” so much as it is to enter into them in a way that we become participants in the story and allow them to expand our imaginations about the Kingdom of God. It seems to me that the (big ‘C’) Church suffers from a lack of imagination all too frequently. Not only are we happy to hear the interpretations of the Bible that were birthed in another historical period, but we often read our sacred text in a way that guards ourselves from being read into the challenges the text often offers. We would much rather identify with the protagonists, than turn a difficult parable of Jesus back onto ourselves.

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Love is The Law of Life – Niebuhr

Love is the law of life and not merely some transcendent ideal of perfection. All men may violate the law of life but there is a difference between those who seek to draw all life into themselves,and those who have found in God the centre of existence and through loyalty to Him have learned to relate themselves in terms of mutual service to their fellows. There was a difference between John Woolman,the Quaker saint,who felt the sorrows of the slaves as his own,and some pious slave-owner who used the Scripture to justify slavery and to obscure the indecency of one man owning another man as property. There was a difference between the megalomaniac Nero,delighting in cruelty and the gentle Marcus Aurelius,ruling over the same Empire but brooding with pity upon the evils of the world. There is a difference (to go from the imperial throne to the monastic life for examples) between the asceticism of a St. Jerome with his morbid preoccupation with self and that of the joyous,gentle and ecstatic St. Francis. The difference between such men continues to affect the very texture of life in centuries after their existence.

-Reinhold Niebuhr

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Romero on Conversion

From Oscar Romero:

In our preaching to the poor, it is not that we pander to the sins of the poor and ignore the virtues of the rich. Both have sins and both need conversion. But the poor, in their condition of need, are disposed to conversion. They are more conscious of their need of God.

All of us, if we really want to know the meaning of conversion and of faith and confidence in another, must become poor, or at least make the cause of the poor our own inner motivation. That is when one begins to experience faith and conversion: when one has the heart of the poor, when one knows that financial capital, political influence, and power are worthless, and that without God we are nothing.

To feel that need is faith and conversion.

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Having More Money Creates More Problems

Here’s an interesting infographic based on some studied that have been done about how those who have money act in contrast with those who are poorer.

Rich People Are Unethical
Created by: AccountingDegreeOnline.net

Thoughts?